October 21, 2008

Brainstorm Proj 3

I have this idea of making some sort of digital story parts of our body as the face of the characters. Have you ever stuffed your thumb in the palm of your hand (in a fist) and drew eyes and things on it? I think a combination of that and creating a character by using part of our face. Our mouth will be the character's but we will be upside-down so the entire chin area can serve as the face. Maybe we can even do some designing digitally like add hats, clothing, etc... and create a story from there.

here's my link of inspiration. i'll look for more too.
Upside-Down Faces
This is a kindof neat team one...

October 23, 2008

Animation Lesson Plan (Assign#2)

Lydia Kepulis
Abstraction Takes Place
Animation Lesson Plan

Grades: 4th-5th
Time: 45-60 min at least/2 class periods

FOCUS: The students are assigned a location, and using their imaginations, they are to develop a representation of that location in a more simplified, abstract way using today’s digital technology.

OBJECTIVES: This lesson will help students become more comfortable with producing art from their imaginations. Rather than copying a picture exactly how it appears, this exercise allows them to produce their very own, original piece of art. Students will learn that every picture can be broken down into shapes and be made abstract if they allow themselves to be open-minded.

Joan Miro’s Artwork:
“The Village of Prades?
“The Parth Ciurana?
website: http://www.abcgallery.com/M/miro/miro.html

Henri Matisse’s Artwork:
“The Snail?
“Two Girls in a Yellow & Red Interior?
“Two Dancers?
website: http://www.artchive.com/artchive/M/matisse.html#images

Monica Giglio’s Artwork:
“Going Places?
“Intimate Land and Sky?
website: http://www.monicagiglio.com/abstract.htm

Other Artists: If students are interested in more examples, send them to look at the works of Picasso and Mondrian (his trees in the works more specifically).

MATERIALS: Computer, Adobe Photoshop (if unavailable PowerPoint or Paint should work), Sketchbook and pencil, Flash Drive

To begin this lesson, briefly explain the assignment to the students and what is expected of them. The students can work alone, or in pairs if they are not very familiar with the programs being used. Working with a partner can be very helpful because students can help each other brainstorm ideas for their project and understand the program being used.

After they understand what the lesson will be about, it is important to acknowledge the vocabulary the students will be working with. I recommend defining the word 'abstract' for the students, in case they are not completely familiar with this term. Doing so will help the students brainstorm ideas for their assignments and there will be less confusion with the final results. Some definitions for abstract are “…Artwork that reshapes the natural world for expressive purposes...? (“Abstraction?), something that is abstract places a significant amount on emphasis on the color, line and form of the artwork (“Abstract?), and “…art that depicts real forms in a simplified or rather reduced way - keeping only an allusion of the original natural subject? (“Abstract Art?).

It is always helpful to show students examples that we can see in the art world today, and these examples can either be professional artworks, or even your own works. While viewing the examples, it is always helpful to point out what makes each example abstract. Three artists I recommend using as examples are Joan Miro, Henri Matisse, and Monica Giglio. Miro's “The Village of Prades? and “The Path Cuirana? are two good examples that clearly depict a location by simply breaking it down into shapes and color. He did not need little details to help the viewer understand what they were seeing. The shape and color do that alone. Matisse's "The Snail", "Two Girls in a Yellow and Red Interior", and "Two Dancers" are also very good examples. Again, similar to Miro, Matisse focused on minimalism. He broke down his scenes into shapes and used color to tell us a story. One more artist who did this goes by the name of Monica Giglio. Her artworks that work well for this lesson as examples are "Summer", "Going Places", and "Intimate Land and Sky". These artworks are very simple in composition and color but still do a good job expressing what we are looking at. The three artists I recommended would work but its important not to forget that there are many other artists that could work as examples for this lesson also.

After the lesson is introduced to the students, they should each be assigned a theme or location. If the instructor is okay with them working in pairs, then each group would get one location. Assigning students their locations will help avoid repetition and adds variety to the overall project. How the students are assigned the locations is up to the instructor (draw numbers, pick out of hat or box, or on a first come, first serve basis are some possibilities). Types of locations that could be used are like the beach, sunset, farm, ocean, school, prairie, playground, bedroom, lighthouse, etc... If the students get stumped on how to simplify their locations, brainstorm with them or have them do online research. Once the locations are drawn and assigned to students, have them sketch out a simple abstract version of their place, which will eventually be made digitally.

Once each student has a basic idea of what their location will look like, it is time to convert it to a digital animation. Some programs that could work for this lesson are Photoshop or Powerpoint, although Powerpoint would be more difficult. For the sake of this lesson plan, I will assume the program being used is Photoshop. First have them open up a new document and as a class, have them make it the same size document. Doing this makes viewing the projects in the end much easier and the different animations can be strung together to make one big class animation.

Having the students refer to their sketchbooks, have them mimic 1-2 shapes from their sketchbooks and put them onto the new document. Right click on the title of the layer and click duplicate. A new layer will pop up. Make sure the students know to always be working on the top layer.

At this point, they will repeat the procedure (Add a shape or two, right click, click duplicate). This is to be repeated until the entire project is on the computer. Let them know beforehand that these animations do not need to be very long and that it would probably be in their best interest to keep them no longer than 10-15 layers. However, if students seem to have caught on quicker or finished early, encourage them to continue adding layers.

When the students are finished adding all of the layers to make their locations, have them click on Windows and scroll down to Animate. A bar will pop up and have them click on the button that looks like an upside-down triangle and three lines. It is located near the right end of the animation bar. After they click this button, have them scroll and click on Make Frames From Layers. At this point, have them decide how long they want each frame to be. Save the final piece on a flash drive for rendering purposes.

Future Changes:
I would make the animation longer. I feel like adding a few more slides would have been beneficial. I also think there are some craftsmanship issues with some of my organic lines that I would redo. I think I was not giving myself enough time or at least not taking the project as seriously as I would now that I understand how it will turn out.

Inanimate Alice as a Classroom Tool

The thing about Inanimate Alice is that it starts off really easy (and almost too easy in my opinion) but as you watch each episode, you are allowed to do many more things to interact with the it. I think they overall did a good job on making it kid friendly although i definitely think it was or should be geared to those of a younger age. What I gather after viewing a few of the episodes, It is just too simple to keep an older child's attention. There is a way to keep it simple, without boring children, and I am not so sure if that was accomplished in the first couple episodes. It is definitely a parent friendly project because there is literally no violence or bad behavior. The girl on the episodes is a very good role model and I think it fits with a child's aspirations. I'm not so sure how much thought was put into this 'gender'-wise because it seems as though it is geared more to the girls and not as much to the boys of our society. There are definitely some bugs in the animations, however, I do think that overall it is a well put together project and would be beneficial in the classroom, as long as it was for the right age group.

November 4, 2008

Clay/White Board Animation

We spent time in class constructing mini animations and these are two that our class came up with...

Clay Animation

White Board Animation

Sand/Paint Animation Brainstorm

Sand & Light Table

-Experiment with:

*color harmony
* Weather : wind, sunset, rain, storm, lightning
* Facial Expressions
* Familiar Cartoons
* Transformations/morphing
* Nature: palm trees, pine trees
* Science Fiction
* Abstracting shapes

November 6, 2008

Zoetrope Research


This site is full of details on the history of zoetropes, how it works, and what became of it. There are also video links at the bottom of the page relating to the topic. Check it out.

-cut out template
-glue small circle to main circle to help stabilize; poke hole on centered dot
-fold tabs up and glue the securing stripe to the outside of the tabs.
those are the basic instructions i will be covering but i will be more thorough during my actual lesson.

-make sure you are cutting what you should be cutting and nothing else.
-DONT use those paint markers.... be aware of coloring utensil being used.
-if i were to do this in a classroom, i would bring more scissors and glue. also, unify and dont use weird colored paper! white only, on thick paper preferably!


This is from the same site and it goes into detail about the Thaumatrope, another thing i covered in our class. It also talks about the history, how it works, what becomes of it and includes video links. Check it out.

-punch 2 holes in index card, on centered on each side.
-draw image on both, use window to see through and keep imagines together
-rubber bands go in hole and loop to hold

-rubber bands... find substitution... string for example.
-keep image SIMPLE. the result is much better that way.
-talk to kids about importance of centering image!!!
-again, DON'T use paint markers!


I just thought this was pretty neat

as was this one:

November 18, 2008

Experience in the Tweed

Instead of going into the classroom, my group is going to be holding a little experiment down in the Tweed. I have to talk to my group members about the specifics of the experience but as for now, this is what I understand...

Dates: Tues Dec 2, Wed Dec 3
Time: 1pm-2pm, + set-up/clean up time.
Group Members: Andy & Aily
Influence: Wanda Gag exhibit in the Tweed Museum
Intended Audience: Children from Lowell Elementary School, Grade 2

There will be a large number of kids coming to the Wanda Gag exhibit on those days and so we plan on trading off groups to work with. We will bring the light table down to the Tweed and we will have the kids each participate in making a sand drawing on the light table that is influenced by the Wanda Gag exhibit. Things they can look for are: pattern, line quality, character, repetition, technique, and more. We will be renting out a camera and tripod from the school or else one of us will bring are own from home. We will set it up so that we can take still shots of the kid's progress and then are capable of creating a movie with the information.

Because we are not able to work in the schools literally, I plan on going into Chrissy Valento's room to simply observe the art classroom environment. I already spoke to her so it is alright with her. I will write about my experience after I go.

November 29, 2008

Observation Hours

On Nov 21, I observed one of Chrissy Valento's art classes. The kindergartner's had built a shape out of clay their previous art class and she was having them paint and glaze the necklaces this period. She is very good at getting the wild children to listen to the directions. She had her student teacher do a lot of the work in the classroom which was helpful because then her student teacher got the hands on experience with the kids. Chrissy had me walk around the classroom and make sure the glaze did not get stuck in the hole where the kids will eventually string it to make a necklace. I also was on 'behavior' duty because i knew all the kid's by name. Chrissy had planned out her lesson very well and because of that, really did not run into any major problems. She limited the glaze per table so the kindergartners couldn't make too much of a mess. She fully elaborated on her expectations of the class and they followed through. Also, she had another drawing project set up for the kids who finished early. One of the kids had a temper tantrum and she was able to handle the situation very well. In conclusion, she is a very accurate, organized, planned and an effective art teacher.

November 30, 2008

LESSON: Wanda Gag Thaumatropes

Joellyn asked each of my group members to come up with a potential lesson plan for the wanda gag exhibit and here is my plan... we decided not to use it for the actual experience but it still has potential to be a small project in my future. Because the two of them will be covering the main lesson plans, I still came up with an alternative lesson plan.

Wanda Gag Thaumatropes
Age Group: 2nd Graders
Time Frame: 10 minutes or less

This project gives the kids the opportunity to put together their very own small animation.

The objective of this assignment is to have the students put together their own animated project that somewhat relates to wanda gag's artwork
Materials: Index cards, crayons, string (embroidery string works well), a window source with light

Materials: Index cards (no lined/hole punched) , crayons, 2 string

Motivational Resources:
Wanda Gag
'Millions of Cats'
website: http://www.childrensliteraturenetwork.org/events/destins/gaghouse.html

Intro To Lesson:
To begin this lesson, it may be a good idea to actually read the book to your class. That way they can be reminded about what happens in the book and can get ideas for the own creative thaumatrope. After reading the story, it might be a good idea to give the students a little history about Wanda Gag and her techniques in drawing. Those techniques will include flowing lines, repetition, and hatching. Next explain the lesson while holding up the materials as you go through the process step by step. Make sure the students understand the assignment and know the safety regulations before going any further.

Instructural Procedure:
Hand out two index cards to each student. Each student should hole punch both sides (centered) in the sides of both card. Make sure they line up correctly and are centered. The cards will be marked. Have them draw ears on the first index card where the top of the circle is. Take the second index card and make a complete detailed face. Be sure to use Wanda Gag's technique. Next, flip index card 2 upside down and place behind card 1. The pictures should be on the outside on both sides. Take the string and tie the ends together. Put one string in one side of the index cards through the prepared hole. Put the end of the string through the middle and create the knot. Do the same to the other side.

December 2, 2008

Tweed Animation!

YAY, day one is done..
so these are the two project results. Keep in mind i honestly spent very minimal time playing around in iMovie so maybe the timing is a bit weird per slide, but i think these give the gist of it.

Millions of Cats, Day 1 Animation
Download file

Funny Thing, Day 1 Animation
Download file



December 5, 2008


I think this was overall a very good experience not only for me and my group members but also for the children we were working with. The kids had fun participating and for many of them, it was their first experience making an animation. I learned a lot personally about the amount of work it takes to produce an effective lesson plan because I have not taken many education classes yet. An effective lesson has to be in depth and thought out ahead of time if you want to avoid any problems and issues. I definitely am glad that we got the chance to work with the Tweed Museum staff too. All of the faculty were supportive and we had a lot of positive feedback about how the two sessions went and advice.

We had some transition issues the first day but I think we fixed the majority on day two. Thinking back, the kids from day one were not behaving as well as the kids on day two did. This was especially evident when I was guiding the kids through the animation portion of 'Millions of Cats'. Day two kids were waiting their turn in line and there were not many issues with kids cutting in line. I feel day two went a lot smoother because I told them what i expected them to do before, during and after they did their part in the animation. I told them to stand quietly with their cat in line and after they take their turn to go to the designated spot and take a seat. I feel it was easier for Aily and Andy to transition kids to the next project. I made the mistake to not really give easy directions to the kids on day one and so it was hard to tell what kids were done and what kids had not had an opportunity to participate.

If i were to do this lesson again, I would make sure we had more time with the kids. Everything was really rushed and I honestly feel if we would have more time, the overall product would have been more successful and the kids would get the opportunity to really reflect on how their artwork can resemble Wanda Gags. Also, I would have the kids put the cats in a line behind the old man so I could have them make more of a forward motion, like they were walking down the path together.

December 10, 2008

Final Project REFLECTION

Final Reflection

I loved this assignment because there was so much room to be creative and do something that really interests you. I have enjoyed all the different types of animations we have done in class and so I decided to do an animation on Photoshop. I wanted to experiment with motion at a more difficult level and so instead of just having my people shift onto the screen, I spent the time and had them actually walk. Yes, it was a much harder and complicated process than I realized but it was definitely 100% worth it. I have to admit, I'm not sure where the corny concept and story came from, but I am really happy with how it ended. If I were to do it again, I would have the background sky start off blue and as the clouds were coming in the sky would turn gray. Also, there are some small details that I would have avoided and fixed too. As the boy and girl start walking into the scene, the plants on the left said suddenly stop growing. Also, the boy's foot (as he's walking in) is a bit deformed at one point. I would definitely fix that. There is a slide where the heart over the boy's head is missing a side. Of course, those things are pretty minor, and I don't believe they really hurt the animation. I had some issues getting the video to be rendered however, I did get that to work too. I'm super excited I added sound too. It just makes the video that much more fun.

Quick Evaluation

Quick Evaluation of this class..

I have learned so much about animations and digital projects that I can use as a future art educator. The thing I got most out of this class was just that. I honestly had NO CLUE that you can make animations on Photoshop just by building up slides and using their 'animation' tool. I also had no idea how to use iMovie. I had played around with it when I first got my Macbook as a freshmen, but that was a couple years ago and I honestly did not understand the program as in depth as I do now. One of my new favorite things that I can use now is Garage Band. It's pretty addicting, I'm not sure how I got everything done for finals. :) So overall, it was a very helpful class, and leaving it I feel more knowledgeable and confident about my future as an art educator.

December 13, 2008

Final Animation

Final Animation
Download file